ERIC Number: ED478469
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Where We Stand: Early Childhood Education.
American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC.
This document details the position of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) regarding universal access to early childhood education as represented in a resolution of the AFT convention in 2003. The document points out that the lack of access to high-quality preschool programs is a major problem affecting nearly every working family, and as the numbers of working parents increase, is likely to become more acute. Highlighted from the 19-part resolution are the assertions that the AFT and its affiliates should: (1) call on the nation to make a commitment to high-quality early childhood education (ECE) programs; (2) urge that high-quality ECE programs be accessible on an equitable basis, focus on school readiness, provide comprehensive support services, include resources and support for high levels of training, certification, professional development, and compensation, be linked to the K-12 system, and be coordinated at the federal, state, and local levels; (3) call on Congress and the president to fully fund Head Start; (4) urge policymakers to use school- and community-based programs to create a universal system of high-quality early childhood learning and care; (5) urge legislators to fund a voluntary, universal ECE program through cost sharing; (6) call on states to develop a sliding-scale fee system for ECE programs; (7) lobby state legislatures to increase their financial commitment to high-quality universal ECE; (8) call on states to provide full-time, full-day kindergarten; and (9) encourage states to develop and implement ECE standards and curricula in collaboration with recognized best practices for children under age five and in articulation with K-12 standards. Also presented in the document, in question-answer format, are the rationale for the AFT's support for universal access to ECE and for Head Start, and the features of high-quality ECE programs. Concerns about school readiness, program access, and program quality are discussed. The document concludes with a bibliography of 11 references and a list of organizations providing advocacy or research resources. (KB)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Advocacy, Change Strategies, Delivery Systems, Early Childhood Education, Educational Finance, Educational Quality, Federal Legislation, Government Role, Organizations (Groups), Position Papers, Preschool Curriculum, Preschool Education, School Readiness, State Legislation, Unions
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Item No. 39-0245). Tel: 202-879-4400; Web site: http://www.aft.org.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC.